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Are We Benefiting From Loyalty or Point Cards?

I had owned a coffee shop, where we provided our customers with a paper loyalty cards. Their seventh coffee purchase was free. It was a great way of rewarding our loyal customers, plus keeping them coming back in buying from us regularly. There was no longer story of the benefits, nor did a customer need to provide one piece of their personal info. I’m not sure if loyalty and point cards are really for customers anymore with technology…

The reason I say this is because, from my perspective it is a great way for companies to advertise cheap and inexpensively. With technology today personal info is required to obtain a loyalty or point card, which is hooked up to their software systems. We’re giving permission to allow them to send us offers. Not to mention they gain a lot of data through the swiping our card on each purchase. Besides knowing what and when we buy, it is complied into central data base. They’re able to see what is the biggest sellers, how often customers purchase, and if business is slow sending out promotions to customers plus more. That seems to work well for them what about us?

There are many national gas stations competing today. One offers 10,000 points equaling hundreds maybe thousands of dollars spent in gas for the following reward. Five-cents off each liter up to 200 liters, in case you don’t have your calculator that equals $20 in total. Sometimes they have promotions like use your points for free junk food. That is a far cry from my coffee shop days buying 6 coffees for a total of $9, get one free costing at $1.45 equaling a 16% reward for loyal clients. The ones I do like are air miles or credit card cash back ones. There are two reasons for that, first being no pestering about having a loyalty or point card every time purchasing. The second is once you agree just go about your business, and with time you’ll get something worthwhile.

The long and short is pick the cards that provide the most return value for your needs. I am also a bit paranoid about giving my personal information everywhere. Let’s face it no person, company, or corporations is totally immune from being hacked into. The more loyalty or point type cards I sign for the more risk factor. The bottom line who doesn’t like something for free!!

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